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Difference between revisions of "2018-11-09 Practiced"

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Latest revision as of 02:28, 10 November 2018

Practiced
Date 2018/11/09
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Gallery
Participants Minimus Ambus, Prowl
Summary Minimus croons for Prowl. Prowl tries to teach him a few steps.

The great confetti disaster has been cleaned up and Minimus's office restored to normal, with a heraclean effort from each, since Minimus was unable to stick to his word to just watch Prowl clean without doing so himself. There has been time to work another shift, a flurry of planning and reaction and Minimus largely issuing a large number of orders to give the new head of Logistics some ground rules about how to manage a crew used to Penchant's hand on the rudder.

It isn't yet late by ship's time when Prowl receives a somewhat cryptic communique:

Meet me at the gallery. 1900.

Ambus

Prowl is still picking tiny slivers of foil of out the joints in his fingers, which is about as aggravating as it sounds. He can't resume his Incident Room planning until everything is cleared out. A yellow fleck of confetti is stuck on his chevron as well, and he has yet to notice it. Minimus' message prompts bewilderment at first - we still have a gallery? Huh. But Prowl packs up and heads out early. Not... unreasonably early, but early enough that it's clear he's eager when he arrives. Maybe eager to smooth things over following his gaffe.

This means that he beats Minimus there. The gallery is quiet, low lit, with some low, instrumental music piped in the background, and the displays remain the displays they have been throughout the Lost Light's journey, articles and images from each place the ship has visited. Some reference better memories than others. Some are just inexplicable, depending on what someone put up in here and why. But it does have the benefit of being one of the least-used rooms on the recreation deck, and Prowl has a few minutes of peace and solitude -- whether he wants them or not -- before Minimus arrives, as punctual for the date he himself set as for any other date.

He stands in his new medium frame, rather than in the Magnus-sized armor he has been wearing throughout his duty shift, and it is still clean and new and fresh, plainly Minimus Ambus but with those subtle gradations of change that Sanguine's work left him, still clean, lean lines but with the organic-inspired notes of musculature and flexibility to mark it as _different_.

"Oh," Minimus says when he spies that Prowl is already here. "Hmm." He resets his vocalizer in a clear of his throat as he clearly reworks some internal plan that he had developed based on assumptions about who would be here first. It's possible that he is used to dealing socially with the frequently late. "...Hello."

Prowl lingers over the display outlining the Overlord incident. It doesn't showcase the murderous super soldier himself, instead describing the acts of bravery from the crew that went up against him. Prowl's doors have wilted pathetically by the time Minimus comes along. "What was I thinking," he murmurs down at the holograms, then turns to face Minimus. "Just another poor decision on my- my." He strides over and parts his hands in to spread them at his sides. "Look at you. It's perfect. Does it work alright?" He proceeds to ogle.

Something about what Prowl says draws Minimus's shoulders back in a slight startle, his chin lifting with the widening of his scarlet gaze, but they narrow again quickly with the chuff of a faint snort. "It works," he says, "and interfaces well with the larger armors, which was a concern." He considers for a moment, his gaze saccading towards the stage in the far corner of the room and the seats laid out beside it with the turn of his mouth into a faint frown as he looks back to Prowl again. "If anything, it surprised me by being more responsive than expected and has required adjustments. I suppose I should have realized that when Ratchet gives a medical recommendation for a frame build..."

Prowl had been brooding over that damn display too long to notice anything laid out, and he doesn't track Minimus' gaze, still marveling at the armor. Thoughtfully, he reaches to lightly pinch Minimus' index finger, his other hand hovering over the green-and-white forearm. "May I?" Touch, he means.

Minimus hesitates for a moment that looks remarkably exasperated, considering how polite this request is, and turns over his hand, palm up. "If you like. The contrast between the old build and this one is mostly with respect to the internal durability, though, not the external. Please don't shoot me."

"Oh, come on." Prowl takes Minimus by his wrist to gently tug the arm straight, while he casually runs his thumb up the length of it, tracing out beveled edges and seams. He lingers over the inside of Minimus' elbow, peering down at the curious organic-inspired mechanisms that made up the new joint. "It's very nice." His fingertips trail back up to settle over Minimus' open hand, departing with a coy little circle traced against the palm. "So, what did you need?"

Minimus claims Prowl's hand before it can entirely escape following the feather-light tracery of his fingers, and fails to immediately yield it. Instead, he uses it as lever to turn and begin to haul him across the room towards the stage setup. "I've had some time to think," he says as he does this. "And... you made clear that you-- enjoyed this."

Prowl is led easily. Oh, stage. Oh, chairs. Every tick of realization makes him perk further and further. He abandons Minimus to find the seat nearest to the stage. "I'm locking the doors," he informs, firmly. Presumably he does this remotely.

"Good," Minimus bites off crisply.

The first signs of nerves in Minimus are extremely clear as he fumbles with the sound controls. There's even a muttered grumble as the wrong track for background music begins playing first and an extremely discordant note plays before he corrects it. "Stop that," he grumps at the speakers. But when it's done, he shuffles -- failing to make eye contact at all, because oh God, what is he even doing -- to claim the microphone at the center of the stage. He grips the microphone like a lifeline and promptly misses the first sound cue of the delicate piano strains, which shows when he starts, visibly, and then stalks crankily back to the controls to start the piece over again.

Only then, finally, does he begin to sing his song. It starts quavery and uncomfortable, but by the second line, he has at least enough remembered confidence that his low voice warms, mellow and shedding the cobwebs of shy and awkwardness as he goes. It goes, "Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away--"

Prowl is wildly excited for this. He contains himself, but only just. The act alone means something. Minimus could be up there roasting Prowl's favorite trash TV, and Prowl would still be pleased. A performance, for him. It's a pleasant bonus that it's actually crooning that he gets to enjoy. He sits primly, hands in his lap, and beams, his lingering piece of chevron confetti gleaming in the low light. Eventually, his optics dim, so he can take it all in purely through his audials. He's pointedly not recording.

The last notes of the song trail away -- it is absolutely clear that Minimus had to practice this because he knows all the words and he isn't looking at anything, including Prowl for that matter -- and Minimus stands there and looks awkward for a moment. Then he startles again as another song starts up and he hastens over to the controls to disconnect his own playlist from the canned music that traditionally plays in here. The microphone makes an abnormally loud crack when he drops it. He is smooth like butter.

Prowl claps over Minimus' accidental microphone drop. Each silly misstep is committed to memory, because they're charming to Prowl, but Prowl will never tell. "Hang on, don't turn it off." He gets up and hops up on the stage, crossing over to the controls to queue up some simple, slow jazz. "That," he begins, turning to take Minimus' hand, "Was wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Mind showing me how this frame moves?" He steps back into a simple 1-2-3 step (Jazz-taught, probably), and looks expectant.

"Oh, Primus, are we dancing now?" Minimus flusters, snorts, bristles, and clasps Prowl's hand, his other hand lifting to brace at the frame of Prowl's hip, looking up at him with an expression suspiciously glowerish considering what he just did. "You can dance? No one would ever believe either of us can dance." The mellow smoke of the jazz clearly appeals to his ear, but he still jerks his chin up as he tightens his clasp on his hand. "Hold a moment, Prowl-- I need to talk to you."

Prowl meets the glower with a smile. "A little bit. I asked a friend for a few lessons." His other hand settles atop Minimus' shoulder, and he's set to pull his partner into something a little more complex, but slows at the comment. "Nothing good ever starts with "we need to talk"," Prowl mumbles.

"That's why I didn't say we need to talk, I said I need to talk to you," Minimus grumps at him, and then he lets go of Prowl's hip to reach up and put his fingertip to his mouth so that he can stop him saying anything else. "I just... want to be clear," he says. "I told you before that I appreciated your... efforts. In the face of great difficulty. I wanted to do something in return," and he tips his hand to gesture towards the microphone. "And say... it's only right. I'll try. I'm willing to try."

Prowl lingers silently, but not in silence, with that smooth jazz still faintly murmuring. He looks to the microphone, then back, searching Minimus' features. It's surprisingly difficult to find the proper words here, so Prowl ends up hooking his hand around Minimus' middle, gently leading him into a fidget that happens to look like a slower dance step. "..."

The slow shift of weight is revealing, perhaps, of how little Minimus knows about how to dance. His feet slide awkwardly, attempting to match the rhythm of the slow, languid music. He at least has an ear for the music. “I can’t promise it’s not going to be difficult. I’m not very good at … being with someone.” Minimus is offering warnings now in the tones of an apology, as though he has to make sure Prowl is entering into this with ‘’full disclosure’’.

Prowl works his jaw. "I mean, neither am I." As Minimus moves, Prowl attempts to guide, stepping slowly. It's an alien style of a foxtrot, with long strides. Slow, slow, quick-quick. But the quicks are missing right now, in training mode. "I like difficult challenges," he adds with a wobbly grin, side-eyeing Minimus as he moves them forward, then back. "Not that you're all that much of a challenge," he teases, lifting his chin with the gloat.

Minimus follows along with Prowl’s instruction a little haphazardly, but not unwillingly, for all that the furrow of his brow is weighted beneath his helm. “Am I not?” He sounds a warning in his low voice, although not one without a buried edge of humor. “You could have fooled me,” he rumbles. His hand slip-slides down Prowl’s side, resettling at his hip with pinpricks of heat for each fingertip, tightening in a reflexive shift. “Especially when you decided to sabotage my office.”

"Just use that to win every argument. Only, please don't. I promise no more confetti." Prowl pauses at the crest of a step, making them both stop a little short. "You'll try, you said," he says - or asks, taking up Minimus' hand to set against his grille guard. "You're... really doing this."

Minimus answers him without words, because he’s garbage with those anyhow. He releases Prowl’s hand, so that he can lift his hand and curve it behind his helm; rocking forward on the balance of his feet, he clanks against him with a solid thrum of the engine inside his medium frame, and presses the brush of his mouth to the corner of Prowl’s lips. His eyes are a brilliant glare of scarlet in this close intimacy, but he’s not glowering.

Prowl very nearly bluescreens here. Everything in his tactical mind collides and fizzles out when Minimus initiates intimacy. Something tugs at his spark, telling him to back up, it's too much, too soon, there are consequences for rushing. But, again, it's Minimus leaning in for this little corner kiss, with the burning red of his eyes clear in the shine of Prowl's helm guards. That confirms it, though, Minimus is serious. "C-can we sit down," he asks.

Minimus lets his hands fall away, though he is slow about it, uncertain; he draws them back to clasp them behind his back. He scuffs backwards, about a step, and says, “Of course. There are … several chairs.”

There are several chairs, in fact, set up in front of the stage where they belong. It would be an easy hop to get down, but he moves off towards the steps off stage left anyways, so that he can come around the right way towards the folding seats.

Prowl follows Minimus down the correct way, and folds into the nearest chair. "I hope you've gotten a sense of how much I wanted this by now. I can't... think of any words to assure you how fiercely I- This- Okay, scratch that." He turns to Minimus, wherever he ends up, and tries to find his hand again. Stop taking the damn hand away. "I hope... that you'll be patient... with some of my hang-ups."

“It’s a little intimidating.” Sitting in the chair with his feet tucked neatly beneath, Minimus tips his head, looking off into the distance for a moment. He offers assurance in the form of his hand, warm and solid in its grasp of Prowl’s. “I fear reality will fall far short of your expectations. Still…” The pressure of his hand increases in a light squeeze, as a beat passes. Then, a little warily, he adds, “What… do you mean when you say hang-ups?”

Prowl fumbles, clinging to Minimus' hand, clasped between both warm palms. "I just wanted to make it clear that I'm very happy about your willingness here. And by hang-ups I mean my corpse act when you engage in... intimacy. It's been... longer for me. A lot longer." And, of course, Rodimus' sweet little comment about "thrill" still sits heavy at the back of his mind. Grr.

Minimus gives Prowl a long look almost like he is hunting for the punchline here, and then he says, “You realize… you realize what my relationship history is, right?”

"I try not to think about it," Prowl mutters. "What are you getting at?"

“Prowl--” Minimus draws back his hand but this time it is just to rub his thumb and middle finger at the edge of his helm, over the bridge of his nose. “When I was with Drift, and with Rodimus. That was the first time I was… intimate with anyone. In my life.”

Prowl looks a little twitchy from losing the hand a third time. "Well... Okay. Alright. Fair enough. You seem practiced, though," he appends, cheekily. "So, we continue business as normal...?"

“‘’Practiced,‘’” Minimus says in a brief sham of outrage.

Prowl's growing smile derails into a startled frown, and his door wings fall. "I mean- It's- It's a good thing! Why wouldn't it be a good thing? I'm not angry about it! I think it's a good thing!"

Minimus looks at Prowl’s sudden anxiety with an expression that is a little ‘what have I done’, and smears both his hands over his face for a beat. He drops one to his lap, and reaches over to hook the other over Prowl’s knee. “Please stop. You may drive me to metaphor. What is ‘business as normal’ in this context?”

Oh. Minimus was. Joking. "Excuse my nerves," Prowl gruffs. "I don't know... No major changes to our daily routines? I've been kind of pestering you daily anyway." He looks down at his knee, but does not touch, as if Minimus' hand is a butterfly that will flutter off if disturbed. "I suppose we'll feel it out." (edited)

“I see.” Minimus looks uncertain, and then kind of shifts uneasily on his seat, thumb gliding back and forth over Prowl’s knee. “I don’t know. My planning reached this point.”

"..." Prowl struggles to respond with every sliver of processing power shunted to focus wholly on the thumbs on his knee. He tracks the motion, the pace, the length of the slide and when it doesn't match up with the previous round. Slag. "Okay. I... I need to... I need to resume work on the New Iacon... project. Do you want to help, or do you have other duties tonight?"

Minimus stands from his seat, and drops his hand on Prowl’s shoulder, leaning onto him a brace of his weight as he ducks his head to plant another kiss, this to the crown of his helm. “Do you think we would get anything constructive done?”

"No," Prowl readily admits his utter defeat here, tingling under the additional kiss. A shiver travels down his back strut, visibly, and his doors spring up, angled high. Like, really high. "I'll come see you later," he promises, rising to stand. It's not a kiss, but it's the closest affection that Prowl can spark up on his own - at least right now, pressing his chevron against Minimus' brow, and reaching to thumb the curve of his cheek.

Minimus shares with him a fraction of a smile. “Good idea,” he says. He turns his head into the touch, a little like a bonk; he noses Prowl’s cheek with a soft puff of breath before he turns away to unlock the doors to the gallery and make his escape.

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